NFL Rankings: 49ers still chasing Cards; Raiders slipping


NFL Rankings: 49ers still chasing Cards; Raiders slipping

Were at the quarter-pole of the NFL season and teams are beginning to separate from the pack. But whats more realistic at this point a Texans vs. Falcons Super Bowl, or a Ravens-49ers Harbaugh Bowl? The power rankings are all about head-to-head results at this point in time...

1 (1) Houston Texans (4-0) The most complete team in the league right now. 2 (2) Atlanta Falcons (4-0) Dirty Birds Version IOS 6.0? 3 (3) Arizona Cardinals (4-0) Kevin Kolb must be living right. 4 (4) Baltimore Ravens (3-1) Quietly, waiting in the weeds to strike. 5 (8) Minnesota Vikings (3-1) Somewhere, Tommy Kramer is smiling. 6 (9) San Francisco 49ers (3-1) How do the Youngstown Niners grab ya? 7 (12) Chicago Bears (3-1) Not quite the 1985 demolition of the Cowboys, but almost as complete . 8 (10) New England Patriots (2-2) A three-game losing streak? Brady would never hear of it. 9 (14) San Diego Chargers (3-1) Is this the year Norv-a-caine numbs the rest of football to sleep? 10 (16) Cincinnati Bengals (3-1) Dalton and Green making like Anderson and Collinsworth. Too soon? 11 (17) Philadelphia Eagles (3-1) Two missed field goals mean Andy Reid can exhale twice. 12 (5) Seattle Seahawks (2-2) The ugliest uniforms this side of the USFL. 13 (11) Green Bay Packers (2-2) Something's just not clickingyet. 14 (6) Dallas Cowboys (2-2) A five-pick game on national TV is no way for Romo to endear himself. 15 (7) New York Giants (2-2) Now the G-Men know how Scott Norwood feltkinda. 16 (18) Denver Broncos (2-2) The Mile High Lovefest for Manning is reaching Tebow-ian levels. 17 (13) New York Jets (2-2) Speaking of Tim Tebow, is it that time yet? 18 (15) Buffalo Bills (2-2) Wait, weren't the Bills handing Brady and the Pat's their lunch in the first half? 19 (22) St. Louis Rams (2-2) Time for Ice Cube to wistfully rap, Eric Dickerson, come back home. 20 (24) Washington Redskins (2-2) Cundiff atones for sin of three missed field goals and makes Shanahan look smart again. 21 (21) Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2) Mundy's wallet is 21,000 lighter. 22 (19) Miami Dolphins (1-3) Tannehill's learning curve is going better than expected. 23 (23) Detroit Lions (1-3) Lions say they're a "different" 1-3. Meaning what, exactly? 24 (26) Indianapolis Colts (1-2) Now comes the hard part for Luck after his first career bye. 25 (25) Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3) MJD and not much else at this time. 26 (27) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-3) Yes, they should go back to the orangecicle unis, just to curry up interest. 27 (28) Kansas City Chiefs (1-3) Routt Tweets, Another day, another dollar. He must have meant another deflating loss. 28 (30) Carolina Panthers (1-3) All of those stats mean little without W's. 29 (20) Oakland Raiders (1-3) Bye comes at a perfect time to soothe physical and psychological wounds. 30 (29) Tennessee Titans (1-3) Seriously, how did this outfit win a game? 31 (32) New Orleans Saints (0-4) Not as bad as their record suggests, but you are what your record says, right? 32 (31) Cleveland Browns (0-4) And with the first pick of the 2013 draft...

49ers Mailbag: A Shanahan-Shanahan show?

49ers Mailbag: A Shanahan-Shanahan show?

The outcome of the Atlanta Falcons’ NFC Championship game on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers will determine how quickly the 49ers can move in securing Kyle Shanahan as the team’s next head coach.

If the Falcons lose, the 49ers will have a second meeting with Shanahan early in the week, during which team executives Jed York and Paraag Marathe would be expected to finalize the deal.

But if the Falcons win and advance to the Super Bowl, the early part of Shanahan’s week would be spent game-planning and preparing to face the AFC representative. The second interview with the 49ers would be scheduled for Friday.

Shanahan is also expected to be involved in the 49ers’ hiring of the general manager.

Now, let’s dip into our 49ers Mailbag to answer some questions posted on our Facebook page:

Q: Do you think Mike Shanahan will have any role in the team?‬ (Robert Allen Swenor)
A: Mike Shanahan, of course, is the father of presumptive 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan. Aside from that, it does not appear as if Mike will have an official role with the club.

A question that must be asked is this: Does Kyle Shanahan benefit from having his father in the building? The answer is, probably not.

Of course, this is not to say the elder Shanahan will not have some level of influence with the 49ers.

If the 49ers close the deal with Kyle Shanahan, as both sides expect right now, Mike Shanahan will undoubtedly be a valuable resource to his son. I’m sure Mike Shanahan will attend some practices in training camp and during the regular season. He will always serve as a mentor to his son.

Q: Do you think that the 49ers are going after particular D-coordinators based on their own desires or are they quietly doing it on behalf of Shanahan's request?‬ (Eddie SF Torres)
A: Whenever someone interviews for a head-coaching position, that individual presents a wish list of the assistants he plans to pursue to join his staff.

The 49ers have gone after Vic Fangio and Gus Bradley to serve as the defensive coordinator on the next staff. The Chicago Bears declined to allow Fangio the opportunity to leave. Bradley decided on joining the Los Angeles Chargers instead of the 49ers or Washington.

The 49ers feel confident Shanahan will become their next coach. It's also safe to assume Shanahan expressed his wishes at defensive coordinator – and, perhaps, other coaching positions on his future staff.

Q: Should the team draft a QB or get a free agent?‬ (Greg Luthy)
A: Both.

One of the interesting things about both of the two serious head-coach candidates is each lined up neatly with a quarterback. In the case of Josh McDaniels, it was easy to connect the dots on a possible trade for New England backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

Obviously, Kirk Cousins is the quarterback who could be available for the 49ers to add with Shanahan in charge. Shanahan coached Cousins for two seasons with Washington, during which he made just four starts.

Cousins has emerged in the past two seasons. He made $20 million last year on the franchise tag. And he would make at least $24 million this season under the same tag.

If Washington places the exclusive franchise tag on Cousins at a higher one-year price, he would be completely off the market. But, otherwise, there would be room for the 49ers to sign him at the cost of two first-round draft picks or negotiate a trade with Washington.

It seems obvious the 49ers would at least inquire about the chances to acquiring Cousins.

So, back to the original question, expect the 49ers to add a veteran quarterback or two in the weeks after the beginning of the new league year on March 9.

Then, seven weeks later, there’s the NFL Draft. Which veteran quarterback(s) the 49ers acquire will determine their needs in the draft.

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Falcons' outcome to determine 49ers' interview schedule

Falcons' outcome to determine 49ers' interview schedule

The 49ers will hold their second interview with Atlanta offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan as early as Monday, a source told on Sunday morning.

If the Falcons lose Sunday in the NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers, the 49ers are tentatively scheduled to interview Shanahan on Monday and Tuesday in Atlanta, the source said.

If the Falcons win and advance to the Super Bowl, the 49ers’ second interview with Shanahan would wait until Friday. The early part of the week would be devoted to planning for the Super Bowl.

The 49ers would have until the Sunday the week before the Super Bowl to hold a second interview with Shanahan, who originally met with 49ers executives Jed York and Paraag Marathe on Jan. 6 in Atlanta.

Shanahan is the only 49ers coaching candidate remaining among the six individuals who interviewed to replace Chip Kelly. All signs point to Shanahan to become the team’s next head coach. Atlanta coach Dan Quinn announced to his staff that Shanahan would be taking the job, the NFL Network reported last week. The 49ers are prohibited from officially hiring Shanahan until the Falcons' season is over.

Shanahan is also expected to have a major influence in the 49ers’ hiring of a general manager to replace Trent Baalke, whose firing was announced shortly after the 49ers finished the season with a 2-14 record.

Minnesota assistant general manager George Paton appears to be the front-runner for the position. Paton, like Shanahan, first interviewed with the 49ers on Jan. 6 in Atlanta.

Of the 49ers’ original candidates for the general manager position, Arizona vice president of player personnel Terry McDonough is the only other individual who is still in the mix. The 49ers have not ruled out bringing in other GM candidates to interview, a source said.